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Posted by: Patrick (46 YEARS OLD) | 2012/09/11

Craving for salty foods

Hi Doc, I am a gym regular and in the past 18 months have lost 30 kilograms from 110 to 80 kgs. As I continue exercising, whether I am running or at the gym, I crave for salt mostly a day after the gym. Biltong and salted nuts normally satisfy this craving but I am afraid that at the rate the craving''s going, I might end up regaining the lost weight. Is this normal or is there a supplement you could recommend?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Patrick
Congratulations on losing those 30 kg - you are a bright shining ***Star***! One of the problems with this type of craving that you have developed, is that it may well be that you are not just craving salt or sodium which should not be eaten in excess, but won't cause fat gain. You could also be craving the fat in that biltong and the nuts. So I would recommend that you try having a low-fat, low-GI snack such as ProVitas with Marmite or Boveril (for the saltiness) after going to the gym. This should help to replenish your liver and muscle glycogen stores (the fuel you require for exercise) and also top up your sodium intake without adding excessive fat or kilojoules to your intake. If you are doing very intensive exercise you can also consider using a sports drink which contains added sodium and potassium. Such sports drinks do contain high-GI carbohydrates, but the intensive exercise would use up these carbs for you. If this tendency continues, I would recommend that you ask your gp to test your sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium levels to see if you don't have a deficiency that is causing these salt cravings. You have expended so much effort on losing the 30 kg that you don't want to regain any of this lost weight.
Keep up the good work
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2012/09/12

Dear Patrick
Congratulations on losing those 30 kg - you are a bright shining ***Star***! One of the problems with this type of craving that you have developed, is that it may well be that you are not just craving salt or sodium which should not be eaten in excess, but won't cause fat gain. You could also be craving the fat in that biltong and the nuts. So I would recommend that you try having a low-fat, low-GI snack such as ProVitas with Marmite or Boveril (for the saltiness) after going to the gym. This should help to replenish your liver and muscle glycogen stores (the fuel you require for exercise) and also top up your sodium intake without adding excessive fat or kilojoules to your intake. If you are doing very intensive exercise you can also consider using a sports drink which contains added sodium and potassium. Such sports drinks do contain high-GI carbohydrates, but the intensive exercise would use up these carbs for you. If this tendency continues, I would recommend that you ask your gp to test your sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium levels to see if you don't have a deficiency that is causing these salt cravings. You have expended so much effort on losing the 30 kg that you don't want to regain any of this lost weight.
Keep up the good work
Best regards
DietDoc

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